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Marshall basketball: Assistants headed in, players headed out

By Derek Redd, Marshall beat writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The makeup of the Marshall men’s basketball team is transforming following the arrival of new head coach Dan D’Antoni. While players are making their way out, assistant coaches are beginning to make their way in.

D’Antoni, introduced last Friday to replace Tom Herrion, is expected to hire nine-year NBA veteran Chris Duhon as an assistant, sources told the Daily Mail. Duhon — the 2001 ACC rookie of the year who ended his Duke career as the team’s career leader in steals and second in assists — was a second-round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2004. He played for the Bulls, the New York Knicks, the Orlando Magic and the Los Angels Lakers, playing under D’Antoni and his younger brother, NBA head coach Mike D’Antoni, in New York and Los Angeles.

Spots on Dan D’Antoni’s staff have gained interest, including from former Thundering Herd player Jeff Battle. Sources said Battle, who had been an assistant at Wake Forest since 2002 for former Demon Deacon head coaches Skip Prosser, Dino Gaudio and Jeff Bzdelik, interviewed with Marshall. Battle was a graduate assistant coach at Marshall in 1986 after concluding his Herd career. He’s ranked ninth in team history in career assists (431) and fourth in career steals (172) after playing from 1981-85. Also interviewed was Michael Peck, former coach at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Nev., and the current coach of the NBA Development League Idaho Stampede.

Sources also said D’Antoni has spoken with all the assistants on Herrion’s staff.

Meanwhile, the Herd will be without a pair of players expected to join the roster this coming season — center Henry Uwadiae and point guard Jaylen Brantley. Marshall associate athletic director Jeff O’Malley confirmed that Uwadiae, a 6-foot-11 player from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been released from his letter of intent. Uwadiae averaged just 1.6 points per game for the Eagles, but shot 82 percent from the floor in limited playing time.

Brantley, who sat last season as an academic non-qualifier, will transfer to Odessa College, a junior college in Odessa, Tex. He was rated a four-star point guard by MaxPreps.com coming out of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. Brantley shot 44 percent from 3-point range while averaging 16 points and five assists. He isn’t the only Marshall point guard looking elsewhere. Kareem Canty, a Conference USA all-freshman and third-team all-conference pick last season, was granted a release from his scholarship earlier this month. He’s already visited Auburn and is scheduled to visit the University of South Florida, Penn State and UNLV.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.


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